99% of children in referrals requiring an emergency response are seen or attempts are made within 24 hours. An intake decision tree guides intake staff in screening decisions that determine response times. Supervisors review all intakes before they are assigned to social workers.
The numbers of emergent referrals accepted for investigation by region each month can vary between 40 to more than 100. Small numbers cause significant variation in the percent compliant.
The 100% target for 24-hour response time may not be met when:
- Based on new information gathered throughout the intake process, the screening decision is changed from 72 hour response or alternate intervention to emergency response to ensure child safety.
- Supervisory approved extensions are not yet documented. (Extensions are approved for various reasons, such as when law enforcement takes the lead on investigations, delaying a DSHS response, and when a neutral setting is required for safe access to a child).
The number of children in referrals requiring emergent response increased by 17% between July 2009 and May 2010. The number requiring non-emergent response grew 27%.